PBS (Fri., April 27, 9 P.M. ET)
Noted MTV maven Zbig Rybczynski turns his high-tech video technique on classical music for Great Performances.
Elderly couples in somewhat formal dress engage in odd, ritualized behavior within the hedged confines of a formal garden as Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 plays. A man and a woman in their underwear pinwheel through the cavernous space inside Chartres cathedral as Schubert’s “Ave Maria” wafts through. Soldiers in full ornamental uniform march about in the Louvre while a man is shaved and dressed by a valet in time to Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie” overture. In three other pieces giant snakes drift in the air, dachshunds gaze balefully at the camera and a fetish involving loaves of bread is carried on.
This is a promising concept, but Zbig’s visions are too dourly mystical, in an Ingmar Bergman kind of way, to hold one’s interest.